Chrome ad blocking expands to shut down entire websites

A chocolate factory

After the failure of last year's abusive web ad clampdown, Google will next month cut off revenue for websites that flout its rules against malicious adverts.

When Chrome 71 arrives in December 2018, it will have a new feature which will hopefully make surfing the web a better experience for everyone. The new policy aims at blocking all ads on websites that are persistent in letting abusive ads through. But on Monday, it said an update to Chrome will block all ads on a group of sites that have been bombarding users with the invasive tactics. Any website owners can easily visit a Google Search Console section called Abusive Experiences Report. This abusive site filtering feature will be enabled by default with Chrome 71, but users can disable it by going to their Chrome Settings.

Google defines abusive experience advertising as advertising that tricks users into taking an action that the user did not intend. Granted, some of these sites might not be aware that they're using abusive ads so Google will be giving them a 30-day grace period to act once their site has been flagged. Since past year, said product manager Vivek Sekhar, Google has learned "that this approach did not go far enough".

Unexpected Click Areas: Transparent backgrounds, non-visible page elements, or other typically non-clickable areas that lead to an ad or landing page when clicked.

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Google said there are only a "small number of sites" that show such ads in the first place, so users may not see much of a difference. You click on the "close" button but it's not actually a close button - it's just another link.

It's happened to everyone: you're visiting a website when a pop-up ad appears which looks a lot like a system warning.

To demonstrate the problem it is trying to remedy, Google showed a graphic of a user heading to a website that deployed a score of ads in different tabs, suggesting the forthcoming update will address such an issue. This week, the company said that roughly half of these unwanted experiences include these abusive ads, justifying the crackdown. You can see an example of a tech support scam utilizing this type of abusive behavior in our video below.

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